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Powder Days at Hotham
The Inside Line

By Drew Jolowicz

Posted 17 July 2022

As deep winter approaches, we look to the sky and our minds wander towards the prospect of fresh snow falling at Hotham. It's been an amazing start to the season. Hats off to our Operations teams who have worked tirelessly around the clock (day and night), preparing the slopes for everyone to enjoy.

Hotham has long held the reputation as Australia's unofficial 'Powder Capital'. There's nothing quite like the feeling of floating down a wide-open powder field or tree skiing amongst Ullr's finest flakes. Powder skiing or snowboarding? It doesn't matter, riding fresh snow is a sensation that's hard to replicate.

The Hotham difference:

Unlike most resorts, the village is perched near the summit with a series of ridges and gullies descending from the top. When low-pressure hits from the south with a cold north-west airflow, these terrain features fill up with deep snow. This unique topography ensures Hotham has some of the best powder skiing and snowboarding in Australia.

First Tracks:

Early birds get the powder! From Wednesday through Sunday, Epic Australia Pass holders have free access to some of Australia's best intermediate and advanced terrain.

Commencing at 7:30am, enjoy fresh tracks on Heavenly Valley and be among the first people skiing or riding in the country. On a powder day enjoy the perfect fall line of Imagine or the deep snow filled runs of Snake Gully and Gun-Barrel.

Best places to ride powder:

On a snow day, for protection from the elements head below the road and find shelter in the tree lined runs and gullies at lower elevations. Hit the steep fall line of Wendix or scoot along the Gully Catwalk and drop into Off the Edge or Sundowner for fresh turns.

Steep and deep in the Extreme Zone:

For those who like the challenge and adrenalin of high speed left and rights, head straight to the expert terrain of the Extreme Zone. Accessed from the Gotcha Chair this is some of the most exhilarating inbounds terrain in Australia. Search the Trail Map and seek out the renowned powder haunts of Mary's Slide, Coles Bowl or The Chute.

Here you'll find everything from wide open powder fields, steep narrow chutes and gullies filled with deep snow after a storm. While heaven on a powder day, this terrain shouldn't be taken lightly. Be sure to obey all signage and advice from Ski Patrol before entering.

Equipment tools of choice:

The right ski or board selection can make or break your day. For snowboarding in powder use a longer wider board and set the bindings back a touch. In recent years there has been the advent of the Swallow Tail Board. Fishtailed in appearance, this design allows the tail of the board to immerse in the snow allowing increased flotation upfront in the nose of the board.

As far as skis go, technology continues to evolve also. Generally speaking, a ski over 90 millimetres underfoot, wider tips and tails and an increased rocker profile is optimal in deep snow. When it comes to turn radius, a ski with a moderate to wide profile will offer better flotation and stability in the powder.

Want to improve your powder skiing technique?

Brush up on those skills and take a lesson with Hotham’s Ski and Ride School. Offering a wide variety of programs, you’ll improve your technique and maximise your enjoyment in the deeper snow (and on piste terrain). Lessons can be booked here.

Stay connected via socials:

Keep up to date with all the latest news and download the Hotham App. Here you’ll find a host of features including weather forecasts, snow reports and real time views of your favourite runs through Hotham's live snow cams. Stay connected via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for real time updates from Hotham's media team live on the ground.

Bill's Report:

Director of Ski Patrol and all round Hotham legend, Bill Barker loves powder as much as anyone. To help keep everyone safe, Bill reports the latest conditions and safety advisories every day throughout the winter season. For the most up to date snow and weather information, check out the Daily Snow Report.

With promising snowfalls on the horizon, Hotham is the place to be this winter. Be sure to plan ahead and book accommodation, lift tickets, lessons and rentals in advance as popular dates may sell out. As the fresh snow begins to fall, we can all look forward to getting amongst some of the best powder skiing in Australia!

ABOUT DREW JOLOWICZ

Drew is a Hotham local who was introduced to skiing at four years old. Since then he has been skiing at Hotham every winter, now aged in his 30's. His skiing has taken him all around the world in search of snow, with memorable destinations including Japan, North America, Canada and New Zealand. 

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